Self-employment visa


If you want to start a business, you can do one residence permit for the purpose of self-employment according to § 21 Abs. 1 AufenthG if the following requirements are met:

There is an economic interest or a regional need for your product or service.

Your activity can be expected to have a positive impact on the economy.

You have secured the financing of the implementation through equity capital or through a loan approval.

If you are older than 45 years, the visa can only be issued if you can also prove that you have adequate pension provision.


If you would like to become self-employed in a freelance profession, you have the option of obtaining a residence permit for freelance work in accordance with Section 21 (5) of the Residence Act. You must meet the following requirements:

You can prove the financing of your project.

You have a license to practice the profession that you plan to practice on a freelance basis.

If you are over 45 years of age, you must also prove that you have adequate retirement provision.

What prospects does the self-employment visa offer?

The visa or residence permit for independence is initially granted for up to three years. If your business idea is successful and you can finance your living and that of your family, the residence permit can be extended.

Info box

When setting up a business, it is possible after three years to obtain a permanent residence permit to apply.

You can find out how you can put your business idea into practice in Germany in the section on business start-ups.

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